The Rice Owl baseball program failed to advance to at least the Super Regionals for the first time since 2004 with their loss on Sunday night.
Long-time Rice reporter Moisekapenda Bower chalked it up to a simple reason: Texas-Austin is really good.
Sunday night wasn't about inconsistency or undisciplined at-bats or poor execution with opposing runners in scoring position. It was about Texas sophomore righthander Taylor Jungmann and his dynamic blend of filthy stuff, exceptional command and brazen self-assuredness.
Rice saw its 2010 season come to an end at Disch-Falk Field because Jungmann was simply better. Sure a couple of errant pitches here and there greased the skids to their 4-1 defeat in the Austin Regional, but in truth the Owls needed to be near-perfect both offensively and on the mound in order to defeat the top-seeded Longhorns' dominating ace.
Rice dropped its opening game to Louisiana-Lafayette on Friday. Under the double-elimination format of regional play, the Owls would have had to win four games in three days to advance. They clobbered fellow first day-losers Rider on Saturday, and blew past the Ragin' Cajuns on their second try, but couldn't defeat the host Longhorns.
Designated hitter Russell Moldenhauer homered and drove in three runs for the victorious Longhorns. Owl catcher Craig Manuel recorded two of the team's three hits, and drove in a run in a losing effort. Rice finished its season with a 40-23 overall record.